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Old 05-05-2007
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Question Leaving a Boat on Mooring

Forgive the probable dumb question, but figured I would ask so I dont plan something that wont work.
Is there any downside/problem with leaving a boat unoccupied on a mooring/anchor in a secure location/harbor for a month without running the engine or doing anything with the batteries? Or is it bad to leave them without running for that period of time?
Thanks for the help, dont know where I would be without this forum!
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Old 05-05-2007
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I would probably fog the engine, to help prevent any corrosion and I would also look at getting a solar powered ventilator and a small solar panel to maintain the charge on the batteries.

This is especially the case if you do not have an absolutely bone-dry bilge, since the bilge pump will cycle occassionally and if the batteries get drawn down too far, the boat will start to flood or you may get a fire as the bilge pump tries to run on too low a voltage.

The solar powered vent will help keep the boat's interior from mildewing and molding.... and help keep it smelling fresh.
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Old 05-05-2007
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A small solar panel and a charge controller would be good to keep the batteries topped up.
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Old 05-05-2007
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thanks for the replies. I have two or three solar vents installed, and I was thinking of holding off on the solar or wind system until next winter, but I suppose it would be a good idea for me to at least install a small solar panel like you said to keep the batteries up.... and I think I know where to go to get info on that subject haha
would anything special need to be done once back on the boat besides all the normal engine & valve checks?
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Old 05-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I would probably fog the engine, to help prevent any corrosion and I would also look at getting a solar powered ventilator and a small solar panel to maintain the charge on the batteries.

This is especially the case if you do not have an absolutely bone-dry bilge, since the bilge pump will cycle occassionally and if the batteries get drawn down too far, the boat will start to flood or you may get a fire as the bilge pump tries to run on too low a voltage.

The solar powered vent will help keep the boat's interior from mildewing and molding.... and help keep it smelling fresh.

what would you use to fog the engine? and what will be the proper way of doing it?
I've heard many people talk (or write) about it but I can't find anywhere how is it done. Thanks...
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Old 05-05-2007
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Morgan...you don't need to fog a diesel for a months layup. Throw some marvel mystery oil (available at auto stores) in the crankcase before you shut her down and she will be fine and dandy.
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Old 05-05-2007
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+1 for the solar panels and batts. Last time mine was left at mooring it didn't have much in it and no electrical or engine, but for a two batteries, solar panel and charge controller wired for the bilge pump and fans w/ weather covers I built into the hatches to run.
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Old 05-05-2007
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Watertight integrity is the whole ball game. Batteries will usually be OK if the bilge pump doesn't need to run.

Close all seacocks except for cockpit drains. Put a tag on the engine controls to remind you to open the seacock when you return!

Put an extra turn on the shaft packing and check the rudder post seal if you have one. (Remember to readjust when you put the boat back in commission.)

Rainwater will often come down in the luff groove of a keel-stepped mast and into the bilge. Take whatever steps you can to prevent it.

Be especially thorough with your chafing gear for the mooring pennant/s (two is good.) and double check mooring shackles for proper seizings.

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 05-05-2007 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 05-05-2007
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Ditto on the lack of need to fog the engine. The best way to keep your engine in good condition is with a block heater. That keeps moisture laden air from condensing on internal components. Block heaters draw a lot of juice though, and can be a real pain to install. Alternatives include a heater that replaces the dip stick, although that will also consume a lot of juice, or mounting an incadescent light bulb in the engine compartment. For a small space, a 100 watt light bulb will raise the temperature enough to prevent condensation. A small inverter, with the small solar panel installed to keep the batteries charged, will suffice. Otherwise, do not worry about it; a month is a relatively short period of time. It's always advisable, after a lay-up, to let your engine run at idle for a fair length of time before putting it under load. This will get lube oil to the parts that need it, especially the cylinders that may have mildly corroded. I would not invest a great amount of worry in this area, I am just laying out the most desirable, if not practicable, procedures.

Leaving it for a month at anchor or on a mooring does raise other issues though. The major one involves your probable desire to have the boat right where you left it the month before upon your return. Anchoring can be a little dicey in this regard. A wind shift could possibly trip your anchor and where the anchor re-sets itself, if it does, could be an interesting event. I am not sure I'd recommend anchoring, depending on the waters involved and the dangers therein. Mooring would be much better and I would ensure myself that your mooring pendant was secure, strong, and in good condition. Chafing gear on the mooring pendant is essential.

Now that you've got a small solar charger to keep the batteries topped up it would not be amiss to pick up one of those Davis mega-lights for use as an anchor light. Call me paranoid, but I always have visions of some kid on a midnight blast on his jet-ski running in to my boat. I believe you can get the light with a solar switch that turns it on and off at twilight. They are not expensive and you can hoist it aloft with any convenient halyard. they come designed to be plugged in to a cigarette lighter. I sleep better with mine on.

I would also remove anything of great value, ie...that you cannot afford to have stolen. And stow or remove such items, on deck, that make the boat appear attractive to thieves. I would remove the main sail, instead of leaving it under it's cover, and, in general, give the exterior appearance one of a stripped down look. If the miscreants of your area form the impression that there is probably nothing worth stealing on your boat there is less likelyhood they will board it. Once on board, they will break in and steal anything of the least value to make their trip worthwhile.

If you are in a mooring field with other boat owners, it doesn't hurt to advise them of your plans. You may find a friendly fellow sailor who will row over daily and just check your chafing gear. Just the fact that someone is on the boat, aside from checking the mooring, is possibly enough to discourage the above mentioned miscreants as they case your mooring field. Activity, on your boat, is usually enough to discourage them, the same as it is with a home.
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Old 05-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyl4rk
A small solar panel and a charge controller would be good to keep the batteries topped up.
any recommendations for what brand or type to get for this purpose? I was looking at west marine on line but their main (sunsei) brand seemed to have some negative reviews for their lack of weather proofing.
I will be looking into installing a combo of wind and solar on the boat before next winter, but want to take care of one thing at a time.

thanks for the concern about vandals, but luckily I will have it in a secluded little basin in front of my grandparents house
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